Nicki Minaj has come under fire for going ahead with a performance in Angola despite protests from a human rights group. The Young Money rapper graced the stage at a Christmas festival in the Angolan capital of Luanda, hosted by mobile phone company Unitel which is said to be part-owned by the country's president Jose Eduardo dos Santos.
The 33-year-old headlined the event, titled Show Unitel Boas Festas, on 19 December 2015 and sang a host of her hit singles including Truffle Butter, Moment 4 Life and Feeling Myself. Although her Angolan fans appreciated the rare visit, Minaj has been heavily criticised for not cancelling her appearance in light of the corruption and human rights violations levied against President Dos Santos. Unconfirmed reports said Minaj was paid $2m (£1.3m) to perform.
Minaj promoted the performance on her Instagram account, sharing pictures and videos with fans and the family of Dos Santos. However, some were in disbelief that Minaj would support the president despite the allegations, with one simply commenting: "#smh shame on u," and another stated: "What a disappointment."
Another declared a boycott of Minaj's music, writing: "Yeah, she profits off blood diamond money. You're disgusting@nickiminaj. Was a fan, but not anymore. All you care about is "paper" and not human lives. Not buying a single song of yours again, but that doesn't matter since you're obviously better off taking money from ruthless dictators anyway.#shameonyou." One other Instagram follower commented: "Your ignorance astounds. The dos Santos family have led a corrupt, autocratic regime for decades. That $2 million you got paid? Blood money. I suggest you donate some of it to refugees of war crimes."
Prior to the performance, the Human Rights Foundation (HRF) released a statement on its website urging Minaj to cancel her appearance under the headline, Nicki Minaj Shouldn't Be Performing For Dictators: "Jose Eduardo dos Santos has ruled Angola since seizing power in the fall of 1979. A cunning tyrant, dos Santos survived a legacy of colonialism and devastating civil war to consolidate control over the presidency, military, and judicial system, all while crushing independent journalism and civil society.
"He uses rigged elections to fake democratic credentials, and his suppression of dissent is ruthless. As part of a national wave of arrests his regime has put 17 activists on trial for reading books on non-violent resistance. Earlier this year, his security officers carried out and covered up a massacre of hundreds of civilians."